I know from experience that a wedding in France is insanely awesome. The breathtaking scenery, the super sweet locals and a darling duo like these two sweeties makes for one, well… seriously amazing combo. Add in a gallery of lovely captured by Miss Gen Photography and a film from Irene Piera Films and it’s a pin-worthy day if I ever saw one. Head to The Vault for even more.
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From Miss Gen Photography… Provence is an area that is close to Moya and Jamie’s hearts, so it’s where they decided to celebrate their wedding with friends and family from all over the world. The South of France was the perfect setting for this wedding, an outdoor ceremony and reception full of sunshine, champagne and lavender. The colour scheme was inspired by the beautiful French countryside.
Moya and Jamie had a romantic ‘first look’ before the ceremony so they could share a few moments alone before all the guests arrived, this was also a lovely opportunity for some portraits in the beautiful gardens.
Moya’s uncle travelled over from Australia to officiate the outdoor ceremony in the gardens of Bastide St Mathieu. Followed by drinks by the pool and a delicious dinner created by Ben Spalding, the executive chef at Aqua Shard in London.
Moya wore a stunning gown by Australian designer Gwendolynne and Jamie wore a British designed suit by Ted Baker.
The olive grove, lavender and the beautiful old chateau provided the perfect backdrop for this gorgeous destination wedding and it was a pleasure to photograph!
From The Bride… There were a few reasons why Jamie and I choose to get married in the South of France. The idea of a destination wedding had always appealed to us, we love holidays with friends and as I am Australian and Jamie English it meant the world to have all our family and friends in one place for as long as possible. We went to the Cote d’Azur on our first holiday together and said at the time how wonderful it would be to bring loved ones back there if we ever got married – so just over two years later that’s exactly what we did!
We spent a lovely long weekend driving around visiting venues both on the Riviera and further inland in Provence, leaving Bastide St Mathieu until last as we had fallen in love with the pictures on the website and sure enough, paid our deposit immediately. The house and gardens were even more beautiful than the pictures, Soraya was a wonderful hostess and we could instantly imagine having our celebration there.
We did a lot of the initial research and planning ourselves, but as we lived abroad and neither of us spoke fluent French we got the help of a local planner, Natalie at Wedding Angels in Nice. Her knowledge of local suppliers and help on the day were priceless, and really took all the stress out of the planning.
The Bastide formulated our vision for the day. We wanted the flowers and decorations to complement the house and grounds so kept the colours fairly neutral with grey Watters bridesmaid dresses chosen with one of my maids in NYC and then made to measure as the other girls were in London and Brisbane. We went for herbs and lavender on the tables coupled with white flowers all potted in silver and grey pots with silver tea light candle holders. I had a white peony bouquet with lambs ear detail that I had originally seen on pinterest and was brought to life perfectly by Wayne Riley Flowers. Jamie had a ranunculus boutonnière with lambs ear, while the bridesmaids and ushers carried/wore fresh lavender and baby’s breath.
My maid of honour actually found my wedding dress! We got married within a month of each other and she had tried it on at Luella’s Boudoir in Wimbledon. She said she knew straight away that it wasn’t the dress for her, it was the one for me! She was right, and Gwendolynne in Melbourne did such a brilliant job! The dress is called Hope and I absolutely love it. Jamie got his suit, tie and shoes from Ted Baker here in London and looked so handsome.
As we weren’t able to be legally married in France we had the wonderful opportunity to really tailor our ceremony to be very personal. We asked my Uncle to be the celebrant and chose readings that really resonated with us for my sister and a good friend of ours to read. It was very special.
We both really love our food and asked a chef based here in London if he would consider catering the wedding for us. The result was a really sensational meal that people are still speaking to us about but also threw up a fair number of logistical challenges! I am so happy with how it worked out, but would recommend others think quite long and hard about the stress/reward ratio of doing something a bit out of the box! The added bonus of having our chef come from London is that we could get our cake made of rounds of cheese from La Fromagerie in Marylebone.. one of my favourite afternoons of wedding planning was going there to select our cheese – delicious! It also meant the “cake” provided midnight snacks for anyone peckish later!
We love our music also, having been to lots of gigs and festivals together, and one of the fun things about a relatively long engagement (15 months) was putting together playlists for the day – one for as guests were arriving, the cocktail hour, dinner, and suggestions for the DJ for after dinner. We really enjoyed this, and have some great playlists for dinner parties to come! For the more ceremonial moments we picked songs that were meaningful for us – they’ll be ones we listen to forever:
Processional: First Day of My Life – Bright Eyes
Recessional: You’ve Got the Love – Florence + the Machine
First Dance: Islands – The XX
We spent a long time deliberating on what to enter the reception to, and in the end picked a song that we both just find really fun – Call Me Al by Paul Simon. It led to one of our favourite moments, a giant sing along with the entire marquee standing and dancing for almost the entire song!
We could not be happier with our choice of photographer and videographer. We knew as soon as we saw Miss Gen’s work that she was the kind of wedding photographer we wanted – she has an amazing eye for a beautiful shot and a way of capturing people and moments that have really brought our day to life afterwards. Irene Piera Film’s work is fabulous too, everyone we have shown our wedding video to says it really feels like you are back there, and we feel so lucky to have such a brilliant memento of the day – especially the speeches and ceremony which really flew by!!
Ultimately, what made the day so special was making promises to each other in front of our friends and family, and it’s definitely important to keep sight of that as you’re planning. It was so special for us to have guests from all over the world together for at least the day – some we were able to spend the whole week with – an experience that we are unlikely to ever have again and we truly cherish. Enjoy every second!
Photography: Miss Gen Photography | Videography: Irene Piera Films | Flowers: Wayne Riley Flowers | Wedding Dress: Gwendolynne | Brides Shoes: Pedro Garcia | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Watters | DJ: Riviera Organisation | Groom's Attire: Ted Baker | Groomsmen's Attire: Ted Baker | Bride's Makeup: Sophie Kilian | Brides Hair: Jennyfer Hillyard | Cheese: La Fromergerie London | Chef: Ben Spalding | Hair Accessories: Richard Nylon Millinery | Planning: Wedding Angels | Private Villa: Bastide St Mathieu